But what about the humble garage? The lonely part of your property that houses all your junk and never your car!
Garage conversions offer home owners a relatively quick and less intrusive way of extending their homes. This is because unlike a traditional home extension, the structure already exists – only interior renovation work is required. What’s more, you probably won’t need planning permission!
Feeling inspired? Read on for HLN’s top 5 garage conversion ideas.
If you have a large family, you can’t go wrong with a second living room.
A second living room can act as a haven if the TV has been commandeered and all you want is some peace and quiet.
For those of you with older children, providing them with a space to hang out when the weather is bad will help keep your main living room clean and clutter free.
Top tip –
Pale colours and the addition of a bay window to maximise light intake will help create a relaxing, stress free environment.
If you’re creating a room for the kids to hang out in, consider adding a sofa bed. Great for slumber parties, a sofa bed will also enable the room to double up as a guest room if you have friends and family staying over.
Dining rooms make for versatile living spaces; great for evening meal time, playing board games with the kids or, best of all, entertaining friends…
If the space is big enough, consider adding a sofa or two, allowing you to take the table-side conversation to a more comfortable seating area.
Dining rooms also double up as makeshift offices – an ideal place for the kids to do their homework (or weary parents to catch-up on work from the office).
Does your garage back onto your kitchen? If so, why not remove the adjoining wall to create a large, inviting kitchen-diner?
Whether you make music or write short stories, a home office is the one part your home that’s free of distractions, affording you the peace and tranquility you need to do what you do best.
For those of you with detached garages, internet need not be a problem with a nifty home wi-fi extender (a.k.a wi-fi repeater).
If you intend to use your garage as a work-shop, you can save costs and improve ventilation by keeping the garage door intact. This is particularly useful during the summer months when the temperature soars.
Top Tip –
For the entrepreneurs among us, converting a detached garage into an office is an increasingly popular idea – just add a sign! Ideal for meetings with clients away from the privacy of your home.
Converting your garage into a bespoke playroom is a great way to feed your children’s imagination. It’s also the one place where they can leave their toys out all day without having to clear them away!
And let’s face it, with all their toys and games are confined to one area, there’ll be less cleaning up and stepping on toys for mum and dad!
Top tip –
Instead of carpet, enhance the fun feel of the room by laying artificial grass flooring and painting the walls with wipe-clean paint.
Depending on your budget, you may wish to add an extra dimension to the room by building an easy-to-access mezzanine – ideal for story or nap time.
If you’re partial to having friends and family stay over, nothing extends a warm welcome better than a private guest room! This option is particularly useful if your home lacks a spare bedroom and you tend to put guests up in the lounge.
Consider adding an en-suite bathroom to make your guests stay even more comfortable.
And while you’re at it, why not add a TV and a fold-away sofa bed? Not only will this provide an extra layer of comfort, the room will double up as a second living room for you and your family.
Top tip –
Due to the popularity of websites such as Airbnb and Tripping.com, you could make some spare cash by renting your guest room to travelers!
Garage Conversions: Things to consider –
As with any sort of alteration to your home, building regulations are mandatory. It also pays to contact the local authority beforehand to find out if planning permission is required.
Luckily, garage conversions fall under permitted development. However, planning permission does apply to detached garages as these are treated as separate buildings.
Planning permission will also apply if you are planning on building an extra storey on top of an existing garage.